Nudibranch

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:01 pm
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Lion Nudibranch_5


The wikipedia page for the nudibranch boasts the only occurrence of the phrase “Apparent production of sound” on the entire site.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Acorn Barnacle

Jul. 20th, 2017 06:00 pm
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Giant Acorn Barnacle


In case you ever wondered what was inside a barnacle.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Blue Morpho

Jul. 20th, 2017 02:01 pm
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Butterfly_6


In reading about these guys, I learned that, like all* butterflies, it can’t chew so it has to suck fluids from through it’s proboscis. Unlike most butterflies, this one lives off of “rotting or fermenting fruit.”


That means you’re looking at a photo of a carrion eater.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

John McCain and tumors

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:48 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat
I'm seeing some people feeling bad about making jokes about Sen. John McCain's health now that news about his tumor has been made public.

Here's the thing ...

Every one of us is going to, at some point, die - all of our friends, our family, everyone we know. It not a fun thing to acknowledge, but it's inevitable. McCain represents a bunch of people who are publicly taking a stance that if you don't have enough money, you somehow deserve to die sooner, and with far greater pain and suffering, than everyone else. McCain having a brain tumor does not change this fact.

Cancer sucks whoever gets it, but just as pre-existing conditions do not indicate moral failure, getting sick also does not absolve past sins. Every Republican "repeal and replace" option that's made it to a vote has been designed to systematically kill people, if not you, then people you know ... people you love.

If we were living in a story, this would be the point in the narrative where one powerful man comes to a realization, has a change of heart, and switches sides. Alas, we do not live in a story. We are not characters, despite the attempts by ideologues to turn us into bit players in their self-aggrandizing stories about how life should be. We have some control over our lives, not everything of course, but some things.

McCain will either recover or he won't. We have no control over that.

The healthcare bill will either pass or it will not. We do have some control over that. If pointing out the hypocrisy between our representatives' words and deeds helps to save lives, if using irony to make a point reduces suffering for all, if dark humor can help us avoid dark fates ... say what you will and don't feel guilty about it.

We do still have free speech in this country. Use it.

Mealworms

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:01 pm
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Mealworms_1


Because they all hatch at the same time, mealworms have to share their birthday.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Crab

Jul. 19th, 2017 06:01 pm
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Crab_4


TFW that interesting person you’ve been talking to for the last hour suddenly shows their true colours.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
laurel: Picture of Laurel with Garibaldi cardboard standup (Default)
[personal profile] laurel
I confess, I hadn't a clue Postmates was a thing until a couplefew months ago. Maybe you aren't familiar with it either.

Basically it's a service where people will deliver things to you. From restaurants to stores, all sorts of places. Fast food! If you've occasionally wished Dairy Queen would deliver, this might be the thing for you (though how well it works may depend on how close the DQ is and how hot it is outside and what you order). The service is available in a bunch of cities, check their website to see if it'll work near you.

Lots of places have menus available in the app (I sometimes wind up checking out the restaurants own websites for more detail if I'm not already familiar with the place). Stores might have a list of frequently purchased items with prices (I know Apple Stores do). You can also request items that aren't listed. Or have them get things from places that don't have such details in their system. I've always just purchased things that were listed so I'm not sure how well it works if you go rogue. ;-p I've had good luck with delivery people for the most part.

When I first used it, it was with a credit worth $100 of delivery fees for a week. So I was able to get things without paying for delivery so stuff just cost what they would at the restaurant/store + whatever I tipped the delivery person. Not a bad deal. That week I went a bit wild and got lunch from various fast food joints most days and that was novel. We're pinching pennies so it's hard for me to justify this when there is a delivery fee, though they do have a limited number of places where there's a set delivery fee that's cheaper than usual. Plus they seem to run deals fairly often where you get free delivery.

When that Unicorn drink was A Thing I remember seeing people using Postmates to get the beverage so they weren't the ones waiting in line but instead it was a Postmates person (one hopes they tipped well if it took a while).

Anyway. I'm mentioning it in case you want to get in on one of those $100 in delivery fee credit for 7 days deals. Use my referrer code of "FZYD2" to get that deal (I'll get a delivery fee credit of up to $10 after your first order). They've been warning me that this deal isn't gonna last much longer, thus my mentioning it. (Sneaky, Postmates. I bet they offer yet another referral deal after this one expires, no idea if it will be better or worse.)

Giant Tiger Beetle

Jul. 19th, 2017 02:01 pm
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Giant Tiger Beetle


This is a giant tiger beetle.


A giant TIGER beetle.


You see the resemblance, right?




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Monarch Caterpillar

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:01 pm
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Monarch Caterpillar


Apparently the bits in the middle taste bad.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Egg Yolk Jelly

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:01 pm
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Egg Yolk Jelly_5


I think we should stop calling certain types of people “snowflakes”.


The term “jellyfish” is much more apt, as it seems they just spend their time floating around the Internet stinging people, but whenever they encounter anything that isn’t exactly like themselves in their specially-designed jellyfish-bubble of safety, they start falling apart – whining about how unfair life is.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Metallic Frog Beetle

Jul. 18th, 2017 02:01 pm
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Metallic Frog Beetle_3


It’s pretty clear that these beetles are not ferromagnetic, but the zoo didn’t let me bring in the right equipment to test for para- or diamagnetism.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Leaf Cutter Ants

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:00 pm
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Leaf Cutter Ants_6


Leaf cutter ants take leaf bits down into the colony where they cultivate a particular sort of fungus that grows on the leaves.


So you’d think these two ants would be moving in the same direction.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Hornyhead Turbot

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:51 pm
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Hornyhead Turbot


This hornyhead turbot is somewhat untrusting of my new wide angle macro lens.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
sraun: first picture of ziggy (Shih Tzu Ziggy)
[personal profile] sraun
He stopped eating overnight Friday / Saturday. He ate over half his dinner Friday, and has been pretty much ignoring any food since then. We put scrambled egg - a real delicacy! - in his mouth on Saturday, and he just let it fall on the floor and ignored then. Since then, any food we put in front of him might get sniffed at, and then he turns his head away.

I'll be calling the vet as soon as possible after they open at 7:30am, and seeing when we can get him in.

Dead Leaf Mantis

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:01 pm
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Dead Leaf Mantis_2_edit


It is unclear whether the dead leaf mantis is named for its tendency to resemble a dead leaf or because he was once an ordinary leaf mantis, full of hopes and dreams, that once made a mistake, one so terrible that he never recovered, dooming him to wander the garden, never again to feel truly alive.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Bluebanded Goby

Jul. 16th, 2017 04:52 pm
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Bluebanded Goby_3


This goby is outraged that the new Doctor isn’t a fish and is heading to a comments section near you.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Centipede

Jul. 16th, 2017 02:00 pm
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Jewish Centipede


On one hand, the most logical explanation is that the zookeepers decorated the centipede exhibit for the holiday.


On the other, it was Shabbat and the centipede was clearly not engaged in creative work.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
laurel: Picture of Laurel with Garibaldi cardboard standup (Default)
[personal profile] laurel
Saw some press coverage about the forthcoming A Wrinkle In Time movie and Chris Pine is once again having to answer questions on what it's like working with a female director and with a cast with more women than men. He's good at fielding these questions, especially having just done the Wonder Woman press tour, but seriously I'm so very tired just watching a few of these interviews. Astounding that it would be at all shocking to anyone in 2017 that he's in two movies in a row directed by women and yet that's unfortunately how the world is. (And OMG if interviewers start making it all about him and his role again as some tried with Wonder Woman I'll just scream but then of course they will. He got good at handling that nonsense with Wonder Woman but honestly.)





Velvet Ant

Jul. 16th, 2017 03:40 am
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Velvet Ant_3


This is not an ant. It’s actually a type of wingless wasp.


A wasp, of course, is any insect of the suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor an ant.


The suborder Apocrita is made of all insects in the Hymenoptera that have a narrow “waist” (or petiole) formed between the first two segments of the actual abdomen.


This is where it gets fun …


A petiole is sometimes called a pedicel, which is also used for the second segment of an insect’s antennae, which can be confusing. So you’d think most entomologists would use “petiole”, but that gets confusing because that work can also mean the stalk at the base of the nests of paper wasps *and* the situation where a normally four-sided cell in the wing of an insect has only three.


Why did all of this happen? Because of plants. People were studying plants before they were studying bugs and in botany a pedicel is the thin stem that connects a single flower to the inflorescence (cluster of flowers) or to a single fruit to infructescence (cluster of fruits (or fruit-like things)) while a petiole is the thin stalk that connects a leaf to its stem.


Now let’s talk about figs …


Botanically, a fruit is the seed bearing structure in angiosperms that is formed from the ovary. Figs are false fruits, being formed from an inverted inflorescence that, when pollinated, grows into an infructescence. How does this get pollinated, I hear you ask? With wasps!


The fig’s inflorescence is inverted, so the only way they can get pollinated is with wasps that have evolved to match specific fig species. One wasp crawls into each flower, lays its eggs, and dies. The eggs hatch, and the little wasps chew their way out of the fig flower, leaving their mother’s body behind. Now, normally, people get grossed out at this point, as every fig they eat actually contains several wasps … but that’s not the cool part.


Because a fig is a cluster of little false fruits, each false fruit being connected to its infructescence with a pedicel *and* each one containing a wasp, which is distinguished from other insects of Hymenoptera because it has a pedicel, that means that figs, unlike all the other infructescences out there, has twice as many pedicels as you’d expect!


Ta da!


(This is what happens when a photographer who is both a word geek and bio geek isn’t quite tired enough to go to bed yet.)




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.